The weapon mentioned in the story is a type of non-lethal weapon called a, “traumatic pistol.” Available in a variety of calibers and ammunition types, the purpose of these weapons is self-defense by civilians. They typically fire a rubber ball.
Via: Daily Star:
The Russian colonel who used to carry the nuclear briefcase of Russian president Vladimir Putin has been shot at his home near Moscow.
Vadim Zimin, the retired 53-year-old colonel, was shot at his home and is now gravely ill in intensive care, reports say.
Colonel Zimin had been in charge of the nuclear briefcase during his time as an active member of the Federal Security Service, accompanying the Kremlin leader and carrying his nuclear warhead controls.
The 53-year-old colonel was under house arrest over allegations of bribe-taking after joining the customs service in a senior role, with Zimin denying any wrongdoing.
Colonel Zimin was discovered at the apartment by his brother, who was reportedly in the bathroom at the time of the shooting, seeing the 53-year-old in a pool of blood with a wound to the head.
He says that the elusive colonel, who was rarely photographed, was found injured with an Izh 79-9TM pistol lying nearby.